Police in West Yorkshire have launched a pioneering scheme to work with schools to protect and safeguard young people.

In what is believed to be the first programme of its kind, West Yorkshire Police have launched Pol-Ed, which stands for Policing and Education.

It’s a trailblazing project developed by police officers and teachers and will be delivered by schools and colleges.

It will cover crime prevention and personal safety and explore and encourage healthy relationships and help young people understand sexual offences. It will also focus on respect for women and girls.

Pol-Ed is a comprehensive programme of lessons that follow children through their school career from age six to 16 years and beyond.

Every term at school, for every age group, there is a different series of lessons. As the children and young people get older, the lessons change with themes which are age suitable.

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The ultimate aim of the project is to keep every child in West Yorkshire safe. The resources will provide teachers with the tools to deliver information on the law, crime prevention and safeguarding whilst also building an understanding of resilience, peer to peer support and where to access help if needed.

Children with Special Educational Needs are also being catered for with bespoke lessons being produced specifically for them. This will ensure all children have access to the learning and information that they need to keep them safe.

In order to reach all children in the county, West Yorkshire Police are providing the programme free of charge to all 1,200-plus schools and education providers within West Yorkshire.

Chief Constable John Robins (centre) at the launch

Chief Constable John Robins QPM said: “This is an amazing programme, which I believe may be the first in the country.

“It is designed by teachers for teachers. We are pleased to be working in this partnership with schools to deliver education to children and young people.

“We want the Pol-Ed programme to be a key part of our long-term approach to keeping children safe. I hope that children and young people across West Yorkshire come to recognise the Pol-Ed brand as something that is there to help them.

“I hope that teachers see it as a useful, professional, pre-prepared set of lesson plans that cover difficult but essential areas of education for all children and young people. 

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 “The lessons and educational resources, of course, cover crime prevention and personal safety issues; but they are also there to explore and encourage healthy relationships, understand sexual offences, online safety, respect for each other and will focus on respect for women and girls.

“All the lessons are age appropriate and follow themes through a child’s educational journey from six to 16 years and beyond.

“This is just the start and the launch. Lessons will develop and change over time, constantly improving.

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 “I hope Pol-Ed will contribute to a positive generational change across West Yorkshire, benefitting not only our young adults of the future but society in the coming decades ahead.”